Story: Marriage and partnering

Rate of marriage, 1850–2016

This graph shows the rate of marriage per 1,000 people per year in New Zealand. The term 'marriage rate' means the numbers getting married (rather than the total number of married people) in any one year. The age structure of the population is an important element in determining the marriage rate – New Zealanders are most likely to marry in their 20s, so if there are high numbers in this age group, the marriage rate tends to rise. Wars also cause increases and decreases in the rate of marriage. The two highest points are those at the beginning and end of the Second World War, and a similar spike occurred after the First World War. By 2016, the rate had dropped to its lowest level since records began – 4.3 marriages per 1,000.

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Marriage and partnering - Marriage in the 19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 February 2023)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 May 2017